04:32
Politics
Theresa May calls for General Election on June 8
Tuesday 18th April 2017

Theresa May has called for a shock General Election.

Standing in front of Number 10, the PM announced it will take place on June 8.

She said she has only “recently and reluctantly” come to this decision.

“I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on June 8," she said.

"I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.

"Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became Prime Minister, the Government has delivered precisely that.

"Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

"We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result."

Britain leaving the European Union is at the heart of her decision, saying there can be “no turning back”.

She said: “Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back. And as we look to the future, the Government has the right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe.

"We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world.

"That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.

"This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. But the other political parties oppose it.

"At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division.

"The country is coming together, but Westminster is not."

This is a dramatic u-turn to her previous stance on the issue, maintaining that the next election should be in 2020.

On March 20, Mrs May’s spokesman said There isn’t going to be one. It isn’t going to happen. There isn’t going to be a general election.”

“I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainly and security for years ahead is to hold this election,” she said.

She went on to say she wants to “let the people decide”.

Mrs May said she would start the process by moving a motion in the House of Commons tomorrow (Wednesday).

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